So after the disasterous outing at BCA I was half excited and half terrified for our solo BD debut at Fairoak. I really needed a confidence boost as the flip flopping between personal best and personal worst scores when the tests themselves didn't feel horrendously different was making me doubt myself a little bit.
Fairoak is just around the corner from the yard and I always feel very lazy loading Buddy up when it's a 15 minute amble but I won't hack without hi-viz and as I had no hands on site its the only way! Buddy started his warm up paying far more attention to the horses in the field next door so I spent the majority of my time in walk, leg yielding then straightening into shoulder in which really helps get his attention and evens up the contact. Once he was soft we went into trot and worked on making sure he wasn't bulging out of the shoulder and stayed connected. Quick canter and it was time to go in.
First test was P13 and I was really pleased with him. Not as forward as I would have liked and we were a fraction late into our canters but other than that I was happy and came out with a smile on my face. There was only 15 minutes between the two tests so I stayed on him and went back into the warm up just making sure he stayed supple in the walk.
Second test was P17 and is a long arena test - I was slightly concerned that I would forget where I was going as I'm not totally au fait with the long arena letters! I had a moment of panic as I was coming down the centre line as I wasn't sure whether to go left or right and where I was changing the rein!! Luckily I chose right and my change of rein was a bit wobbly but I was satisfied with the rest of the test. Our canter-trot transitions need to be sharpened in a test but I've focused on keeping him forwards in the canter to stop the changing but that's got better with every test so I'm hoping we will be able to improve that soon.
I was really happy with both tests but whilst walking to collect my scores I had serious butterflies as I wasn't sure whether it was as good as I'd hoped. I needn't have worried! P13 we had 66.48% and were 3rd then P15 we got 65%. Totally agree with all the comments and just need to work on those to improve.
So a very successful outing! As both tests were summer qualifiers we have got 4 points towards regionals but I'm not sure I've got enough time to get the sheets to get the 20 points needed (only scores over 66% count) so I'll give it a go but I'm thinking that I'll focus on area festivals instead as I only need one more sheet (over 62%) to qualify for that. Then I can get my winter regionals qualification for prelim and aim to get novice sheets for novice. We are turning into proper dressage divas!!
Then, to top off the weekend, I found out that we have been shortlisted as UK finalists for the Herbal Horse sponsorship. This company has had huge success and won a BETA innovation award with their calm mix and I am trialling their farriers mix and sports horse mix so blog posts will follow with reviews on those shortly. To win we need as many comments on their facebook post voting for us - we're doing well so far but would like to nail it! The link to vote is here: